Equipment for Seed Treatment
The equipment used to apply chemicals in any form to seed are classed as seed treaters, and can be divided into two broad categories.
1. Slurry Treaters:
The slurry treatment principle involves suspension of wettable powder treatment material in water. The treatment material applied as slurry is accurately metered through a simple mechanism composed of a slurry cup and seed dump pan. The cup introduces a given amount of slurry, with each dump of seed, into a mixing chamber where they are blended. The slurry Treaters are adaptable to all types of seeds and rates of treating. The small amount of moisture that is added to the seeds (half to one percent of the weight of the seed) does not affect seed in storage, since the moisture is added to the seed surface and is soon lost.
2. Direct Treaters:
Direct Treaters are the most recent development and include the ‘pathogen’ and mist-o-matic Treaters of these two; the mist-o-matic treater is being used more widely.
The mist-o-matic treater applies treatment as a mist directly to the seed. Cup sizes are designated by the number of cc’c they actually deliver, E .g 21/2 , 5,10,15. The treater is equipped with a large treatment tank, a pump, and a return that maintains the level, in the small reservoir from which the treatment cups are fed. After metering, the treatment material flows to a rapidly revolving fluted disc mounted under a seed spreading cone. The disc breaks drops of the treatment into a fine mist. It sprays this outward to coat seed falling over the cone through the treating chamber. Just below the seed dump are two adjustable retarders designed to give a continuous flow of seed over the cones between seed dumps. This is important since there is a continuous misting of material from the revolving disc. The desired treating rate is obtained through selection of treatment cup size and proper adjustable of the seed dump weight.
Home –made Drum Mixer:
A simple mixer can be made by running a pipe through a drum at an angle. The drum is then mounted on two sawhorses. The seed and treatment are placed in the drum and it is rotated slowly until all seeds are covered.
Liquid materials can be dripped on to the seed as they enter a grain auger or screw conveyor. By the time seeds have left the augur, the liquid is spread well over most seeds. Dust and slurry materials may also be applied in this manner, but with more difficulty.
Seeds are spread on a clean, dry surface. Ten to fifteen centimetres in depth. The proper amount of treatment is diluted with water and sprinkled evenly over the seed. Mixing is accomplished with a shovel or scoop turning the seed at least twenty times.